Ramsey in contempt

SOUTH Grafton abattoir owner Ramsey Food Processing has been found in contempt of court relating to initial charges of polluting waterways in 2008.

On Thursday, Justice Sheahan of the New South Wales Land and Environment Court held the company in contempt of court orders and noted "for the record" that the defendant did not appear at the day's hearing.

Ramsey Food Processing failed to carry out an environmental audit of the abattoir's operation and failed to place notices in local and State newspapers to notify the public.

Justice Sheahan adjourned the contempt proceedings for further hearing on conviction and sentence on December 7 and 8, 2011.

He ordered the defendant to pay the costs of the prosecutor's motion "as agreed or assessed".

The contempt charges relate to December 2008 when Ramsey's abattoir was found guilty of polluting the Musk Valley Creek with tallow, a fatty material produced from cattle carcasses, and boiler engine water.

Stuart Bruce Ramsey filed court documents indi- cating that he was a director of the company.

Justice Sheahan also noted that Mr Ramsey dismissed legal representation in the case last year and has since chosen to interact with the court via letters. It was not the first time that Mr Ramsey had failed to appear in court.

"Again today the defendant has not appeared, nor been represented, and the Court has proceeded to again deal with the matter in its absence," the Justice said.

Investigation costs and expenses of $1715.01 have been confirmed in regard to the initial pollution investigation.

The costs of putting an ad in the Sydney Morning Herald that would satisfy the court judgement is understood to cost $6715.37.

In previous remarks to the Judge, Mr Ramsey explained that these costs were too much for a company experiencing financial difficulties.

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